[Marxism] Boycott Israel?

Jscotlive at aol.com Jscotlive at aol.com
Thu Aug 9 07:45:02 MDT 2007


Lenin's Tomb:
 
I'll defend Chris Harman's piece here.  I actually think a boycott  is
probably a good idea, and SR has written supportively of such moves by  the
Palestinians.  However, what Harman is saying here is absolutely  correct  If
this tactic is to be used, it isn't a panacea, and it should  not be allowed
to divide activists between two-staters (most people) and  one-staters (a
committed few).  This is the caveat that Harman is  raising: he isn't saying
at all, anywhere, that a boycott isn't itself the  way forward.  
 
Reply:
 
Nobody anywhere has stated that a boycott is a panacea. But it is  absolutely 
necessary as part of a combined strategy to internationalise the  Palestinian 
struggle. As to dividing activists, how would a boycott do that  precisely? 
Two-staters and one-staters are equally in support of Palestinian  human 
rights, I would have thought. So how would a boycott divide them, given  that it's 
about furthering that precise cause?
 
Lenin's Tomb:
 
He says that the
boycott did not in itself end apartheid, and that's  quite right.
 
Reply:
 
That may be, but it did constitute a vital component in conjunction with  
internal resistance to the ending of apartheid, of that there is no doubt.
 
Lenin's Tomb
 
He says
that the Zionist lobby hopes to maximise confusion and use this  tactic to
split Palestine's supporters, and that's also quite right.  He  does not say
that the motion should never have been passed, or that one  should never
consider a boycott: he warns against walking into a massive  elephant trap.

Reply:
 
The Zionist lobby must be confronted at every opportunity. By continuing to  
avoid any tactic that might mobilise them, we play right into their hands. The 
 effectiveness of any tactic in support of the Palestinians is measured in 
the  size and ferocity of the reaction it attracts from the Zionist lobby. That 
they  are so up in arms over the resolutions passed by the UCU is significant. 
 
Lenin's Tomb:
 
The thrust of the article is that a boycott is a tactic, and not  a
principle.  That shouldn't be a matter of controversy.
 
Reply:
 
The thrust of the article is concern over the possibility of a  boycott 
against Israel offending the middle class sensibilities of the  peacenicks and 
CNDers who've seized control of the Stop The War Coalition and  who've rendered it 
completely ineffective.     


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